Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that based on each region’s infection rate, schools across the state are permitted to open this fall. Every region’s infection rate is below the threshold necessary by the State’s standards to open schools. The Department of Health will review submitted reopening plans from school districts and notify districts of their status on Monday. Out of 749 school districts across the state, 127 have not yet submitted plans to the Department of Health, and another 50 are incomplete or deficient. The determination of how individual districts reopen – in-person vs a hybrid model – will be made by local school districts under strict Department of Health guidelines. The Department of Health’s guidance is available here.
The Governor also announced that school districts must post their remote learning plan online as well as their plan for testing and tracing students and teachers. Schools must also have three to five public meetings prior to August 21 with parents – who will be allowed to participate remotely – as well as one meeting with teachers to go through their reopening plan.
“Based on our infection rate, New York State is in the best possible situation right now. If anybody can open schools, we can open schools. We do masks, we do social distancing, we’ve kept that infection rate down, and we can bring the same level of intelligence to the school reopening that we brought to the economic reopening,” Governor Cuomo said. ” Our school guidance has been touted as the smartest as the country. Our economic reopening guidance was the smartest in the country. So, if anyone can do it, we can do it. But we have been successful because we’ve been smart and we have to continue to be smart. Parents and teachers must feel safe and secure in each school district’s plan to return to school, and those plans must adhere to the Department of Health’s guidance. To ensure that is the case, New York’s family’s must be fully informed and part of the conversation. And so, over the next several weeks, school districts must engage: Talking to parents and teachers and getting all parties on board.”